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Indiana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Indiana is two (2) years (Ref: Ind. Code § 34-11-2-4). 

What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration or trial. 

Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Indiana Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to an Indiana a personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Indiana

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Indiana. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 

  • If, at the time of the underlying accident, the injured person is "under legal disabilities" (they are under 18 years of age or mentally incapacitated, for example), they will be entitled to two years to get their personal injury lawsuit filed once the disability is removed (meaning they reach the age of 18 or have their competence restored, for example). (Indiana Code section 34-11-6-1.)
  • If the person responsible for the plaintiff's injuries (the defendant) leaves the state of Indiana and becomes a "nonresident" of the state some time after the underlying accident, but before the lawsuit can be filed, the period of nonresidence probably won't be counted as part of the two-year filing period (the "clock" won't run during this time, in other words). One exception is where the defendant "by law" maintains an agent for service of process in Indiana, so that the lawsuit papers can be served on that person. (Indiana Code section 34-11-4-1.)
  • If the person responsible for causing the plaintiff's injuries takes steps to conceal his or her liability from the plaintiff, then the "clock" probably won't start until the period of concealment ends and the liability is discovered. (Indiana Code section 34-11-5-1.)

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Indiana statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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